One hundred cheers for one hundred years

A group of centenarians who generously donated their time to the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) will receive special 100th birthday cards to mark their contribution.

Card, envelope and white rose

Image: arymer/Adobe Stock

Image: arymer/Adobe Stock

The women, born in 1921, were among the first to participate in what is the largest, longest-running research project of its kind in Australia. They were aged 75 when the project began in 1996.

To signify the milestone, each centenarian will receive a birthday card from the ALSWH directors at The University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle. The featured artwork, ‘Reflections on Life’ is from a drawing by Professor Julie Byles, ALSWH Director at the University of Newcastle.

“The card and the artwork are a heartfelt tribute to a group of very loyal women who have been part of the Study for a quarter of their very long lives,” UQ ALSWH Director Professor Gita Mishra explains.

A participant from the original cohort left this comment on a survey from 2020:

I feel I have ‘mellowed’, become more pleasant and grateful to my many friends and neighbours who show me genuine love and care… and you folk who ask us to fill in this survey each time. It makes us
think how lucky we all are!

An incredible 153 women born 1921-26 are still taking part in six-monthly surveys. The original cohort of 12,432 women aged 70-75 was one of three recruited in 1996. Together, their data provides a treasure trove of information on the complex psycho-social factors impacting women’s health and wellbeing across the life course, and across generations.

The Australian Government funds the Study as an evidence base for women’s health research and policy development. The University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle jointly manage the Study.

For more information visit

‘Reflections on Life’, a drawing by Professor Julie Byles.

‘Reflections on Life’, a drawing by Professor Julie Byles.

‘Reflections on Life’, a drawing by Professor Julie Byles.

This story is featured in the Winter 2021 edition of UQmedicine Magazine. View the latest edition here. Or to listen, watch, or read more stories from UQ’s Faculty of Medicine, visit our blog, MayneStream.